…This is what my mother said to me when I told her that we have to put off our first IVF cycle due to the IVF unit being closed for 3 1/2 weeks. Seriously?!?!?! What is relaxing about putting off the chance at having a baby for another 2 months? What is relaxing or enjoyable about counting down the days until we go through one of the most physically, emotionally, and psychologically demanding experiences (not to mention financially) we have ever been through? I was completely stunned at her statement so I just feel silent on the phone. After several months of me feeding her information about what we are going through and what each appointment consists of and explaining to her that “lessening the stress in my life” is not why we are not able to conceive naturally, she still makes insensitive comments like this.
So I decided to email her and explain why I find that comment so upsetting thinking that she is trying to be positive and helpful, but doesn’t know how. I explained my feelings to her and then came up with an example to help her understand better. I asked her how she would feel if my brother was sick and she had been taking care of him (a situation that is similar in that it would interfere with her life completely…missing work, going to multiple appointments, possibly causing stress in her relationships with others, all on top of the emotional turmoil). Then I said, how would you feel if he died and I responded with “well at least now you can relax and enjoy your summer.” So instead of her seeing how in that situation it is a COMPLETELY rude, insensitive, and inappropriate comment, she responded with, “I am not sure that your comparison to a child dying is quiet the same parallel, but I understand your attempt.” I WASN’T saying it is the same thing at all…I was just trying to show that when you are grieving a loss (any loss), it’s insensitive to say what she said. I’m regretting sharing how I felt with her. She has tried to be involved with this in asking questions and checking in to see how appointments go, but they way she responds makes me feel like she thinks my feelings are trivial. I understand trying to keep a positive attitude and looking on the bright side of things, but I wish she would just acknowledge that what we are going through is not easy and I can’t always focus on the positive. Sometimes I just need to feel my emotions and get frustrated that yet again we go another couple of months without getting pregnant while everyone around us does.
Has anyone had any luck with getting family and/or friends to understand?